Laptop won't recognize mini SD cards

Written by greg burosh
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Laptop won't recognize mini SD cards
It doesn't take an expert to be able to troubleshoot microSD card problems. (SD Card Toolbox image by Ron-Heidelberg from

Micro Secure Digital (microSD or mini SD) cards are portable memory devices that can be used as storage in a variety of portable electronic devices. They can also be placed into an SD card adaptor (often included with the mini SD card), which allows them to fit into a laptop's card reader. If your laptop isn't recognising that a microSD card has been inserted, there are a few ways that you can attempt to solve the issue.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Laptop with SD card reader
  • MicroSD to SD card adaptor

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  1. 1

    Check to see if your mini SD card is SD High Capacity (SDHC). If it is 4GB or higher, it is a microSDHC card and can only be read in SDHC-compatible card readers. Check with your laptop's manufacturer to see if your SD card reader is SDHC compatible.

  2. 2

    Download and install the proper drivers from the Microsoft website. Downloading updated drivers may solve incompatibility issues.

  3. 3

    Check the connectors for any debris or corrosion. If you see any debris, clean it with a lint-free soft cloth.

  4. 4

    Place your microSD card into the SD card adaptor. Press it in firmly to ensure a proper connection. Insert it into your laptop's SD card reader until you hear a click.

  5. 5

    Click "Start" (or the "Windows" logo in Vista and Windows 7) and click "Computer" or "My Computer." Look for your microSD card under "Devices With Removable Storage." If it is not listed, eject the SD card adaptor and try reinserting it.

  6. 6

    Eject the SD card adaptor from your laptop and remove the microSD card from the adaptor. Insert the card into a portable electronic device. Access the memory options of the device and click "Format Card." Eject the card and repeat Steps 4 and 5.

Tips and warnings

  • Formatting a card will delete all files on the card.

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